The Eretz Nehederet (Amazing Country) organization announced on Wednesday that it would begin hosting guided trips to the northern Negev and Sderot areas under the banner of "Traveling and Identifying" in order to support residents in areas being bombarded by Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza.
Beginning on Friday, the trips will leave from Tel Aviv stopping in a few places along the way including locations of significant battles in the 1948 War of Independence. They will visit areas blossoming with the coming of spring in the northern Negev area and then continue onto Sderot for a two-hour visit.
In the rocket-battered town, the organizers have not planned any specific activity. They are hoping that participants will roam the town's streets and spontaneously speak with residents about what they are going through and purchase products at Sderot's various commercial centers.
Smadar Bat-Adam, the person responsible for the Eretz Nehederet tour, told Ynet that "in every bus, there will be a tour guide who will add to the trip. In addition, Uzi Landau, (former Minister) Avigdor Kahalani and others will be among the passengers and they will also give explanations.
Anemone fields in the northern Negev
"This identification (with Gaza vicinity residents) needs to be constant, people can know that even if they can't come this week, it is always possible to join next week."
Founder of the Eretz Nehederet organization and former minister Uzi Landau told Ynet that "the hope is that the identification won't be a one-time mission but rather will continue the whole year and that the matter will be close to the hearts of the Israel public – who will come to identify, buy and enjoy. We are connecting a trip to the northern Negev where there is amazing blossoming going on, old and new historical sites with a joint assurance from the Israeli public.
Eretz Nehederet defines its activities as intended to "strengthen the feeling of the right to the land and to strengthen the sense of justice in Zionist acts by becoming acquainted with places in Jewish and Zionist history."
Landau said that "Sderot is a manifestation of Zionism renewing itself, we are turning to all who are Zionist and care about the land." However, the former minister emphasized that "the calling is for the entire public – from left to right. We're touring without political arguments – this is not a place for politics – everyone can be his own solution. We're going in order to tour, to identify and to aid the resident by purchasing (products from them)."
The buses will leave every Friday from the northern Tel Aviv train station at 8 in the morning and will return at 3:30 in the afternoon.
The tour costs a symbolic payment of NIS 30. Registration must be completed by Thursday afternoon each week.
The number to call in order to register is 02 9935200